The Vice-President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Jagdip Dhankhar, on Wednesday, said Parliamentary sovereignty cannot be permitted to be diluted or compromised by the executive or the judiciary.
After inaugurating the 83rd All India Presiding Officers’ Conference here at Vidhan Sabha, Jagdip Dhankhar said, “All such aspects need to be deliberated as Parliament and legislatures are enjoined with the objectives to preserve and protect sovereignty of the people.”
Stating that it is the obligation of Parliament and legislators to protect the sovereignty of the people, the Vice-President categorically said, “It must be remembered that the Constitution never envisaged a third and superior chamber for Parliament to grant approval to the legislation passed by the two houses.”
In hard-hitting words, the V-P said, “All constitutional institutions, the judiciary, the executive and the legislature, are required to confine themselves to their respective domains and conform to the highest standard of propriety and decorum. The current scenario on this count calls for serious attention by all concerned particularly those at the helm of these institutions.”
“In a democratic society, the ‘basic of any basic structure’ has to be the supremacy of the mandate of people. Thus the primacy and sovereignty of Parliament and legislature is inviolable. Democracy sustains and blossoms when the Legislature, the Judiciary and the executive act in tandem and togetherness to fructify constitutional goals and realise aspirations of the people. Judiciary cannot legislate as much as the legislature cannot script a judicial verdict,” he added.
He said that all the constitutional entities needed to conform to their domain. Public posturing or one-upmanship that is being frequently witnessed is not wholesome, and those at the helm of these institutions needed to reflect.
Speaking on the occasion, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said the judiciary should also follow the decorum, and the judiciary is expected to use what is constitutionally given to it, but also maintain a balance of its power.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, in his turn, said, “There are differences with the judiciary as it has been interfering with our work. Privy purses were abolished by late Mrs Indira Gandhi, but it was quashed by the judiciary then. Later, the judgments came in favour of all his decisions from the nationalised banks.”
Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Dr. C P Joshi, in his introductory speech, said, “There are many challenges in front of the parliamentary democracy. There is a dictatorship of the executive. Number of days of Assembly sittings has been decreasing. So, who will make the government accountable?”
In his limited role running the House, Dr Joshi said he was helpless as he was the only referee. “The speaker cannot call the assembly. This work is done by the government. Unfortunately, we only run the houses. There is no other power. I want to tell the CM that the Legislature should be given the right to take financial decisions.”
The issues to be taken up during the two-day conference are: leadership of India in G-20 as the mother of democracy, the need to make parliament more effective, accountable and productive, integration of state legislature with Digital Parliament, and the need to maintain a harmonious relationship between the legislature and the judiciary in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution.
The conference is being attended by 265 delegates including 21 speakers, six council chairmen and 13 deputy secretaries.